Douyin Deal With Shanghai Fashion Week Yields Results

The partnership saw the total number of views of last week’s event content on the app exceed 2.5 million, with the dedicated hashtag generating over 68 million views, as of June 22.

As China’s fashion capital slowly recovers from its months-long lockdown, Shanghai Fashion Week (SHFW) made its online comeback, through a partnership with TikTok sister app Douyin.

Designers showcased their Autumn/Winter 2022 wares over the course of a three-day schedule that ended June 19. On Weibo, the topic #ShanghaiFashionWeek was up by over 1 billion views from the previous season and the event saw engagement across other social media platforms including video hub Bilibili and Instagram.

This wasn’t SHFW’s first digital season: in the throes of the pandemic in March 2020, the organisation hosted an “On the Cloud” edition alongside Alibaba-owned Tmall. Having received criticism for livestreamed shows that drew lower engagement than physical counterparts, both brands and organisers took the feedback in stride.

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This time around, the focus shifted from purely livestreamed shows and fashion films to the metaverse, and teams worked to make the experience as immersive as possible.

“When Covid-19 broke out in 2020, the main dilemma brands faced was that they had emptied their winter inventory, but spring collections couldn’t be produced, so our intention was to help them quickly build up e-commerce channels,” said SHFW vice secretary general Lv Xiaolei, commonly known as Madame Lu.

“This season was more about showcasing creativity, and making the most of recent technological developments. Digitisation is something we’ve never stopped thinking about, but the pandemic has simply pushed us to act,” she added.

BoF China Prize finalist Shuting Qiu kicked off festivities with a collection brimming with her signature clashing prints, both softened and developed by the addition of textures like faux fur and rounded silhouettes in a nod to quarantine dressing.

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Meanwhile, emerging designer incubator Labelhood hosted several activations and showcases, including a collaborative short film with Nike, titled ‘At the Moment,’ and name-to-know Nan Knits’ collection of eye-catchingly surreal sculptural separates. On the 18th, Labelhood graduate Victor Wang released a dynamic film showcasing a collection of dark, feminine separates with a twist, such as chain-framed cut-outs and sheer panels.

Feng Chen Wang’s metaverse collection took its audience inside an ominous web-like world populated by models in both real and virtual designs — shoppers will be able to order customised pieces from the collection, including off-kilter tailoring and asymmetrical dresses. Other metaverse moves included Leaf Xia’s fantastical candy-hued puffers, showcased against a technicolour tropical backdrop; pared-back, relaxed silhouettes in neutral tones from Ji Cheng; and a virtual fashion from Lulusmile, showcased on gaming platform Roblox.

The same day, investor and philanthropist Wendy Yu’s fashion prize, the Yu Prize, awarded the winner of its cash and mentorship prize for up-and-coming Chinese fashion talent. Gender-neutral brand Ponderer took home the top prize, and will receive not only 1 million yuan in cash, but a collaboration with sportswear giant Li Ning, a two-season showroom slot with Sphere in Paris and 12 months of mentoring with OTB Group.

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While local buyers, editors and designers are undoubtedly longing for a return to physical formats, this season’s festivities made the case for continued experimentation with virtual spaces. Perhaps most of all, it’s proof of a fashion community and city’s creative resilience.

Learn more:

Buyers Keep Investing in Domestic Brands at Shanghai Fashion Week

Shanghai Fashion Week has wrapped up its Spring 2022 edition, which ran Oct. 8 to 16 and included more than 100 shows on its official calendar, alongside a multitude of off-calendar and related events.

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